Monday, May 24, 2010

Paia Town: land of the free, home of the strange

New York Times
Where Wetsuits and Art Meet in Maui
Published: May 16, 2010

It was just after 10 a.m. and the Paia Contemporary Gallery was getting ready to open. The sun was streaming through the glass storefront, giving everything inside a warm glow. Alejandro Goya, the gallery’s owner, was adjusting a small glass sculpture just a fraction of an angle.
“I’m interested in abstract art, as you can tell,” said Mr. Goya, who was surrounded by crisp white walls and vaguely figurative sculptures, some costing a few thousand dollars. But any notion that this was a high-priced gallery in a big city was punctured when a group of surfers walked past the front door — barefoot, boards under their arms, and wetsuits unzipped to their waists.
Surfing and art mingle a lot in Paia — a blink-and-you-miss-it town — on the north shore of Maui. For years, this old Hawaiian sugar town has been a respite for stoners, surfers and, according to many locals, a certain low-key breed of celebrities like Willie Nelson, the Doobie Brothers, Woody Harrelson and Kris Kristofferson.
In recent years, however, the chill surfer vibe has been joined by a buzzing art scene, with a half-dozen new galleries representing artists like Mary Mitsuda, David Ivan Clark and Udo Nöger. Their works have not only attracted the attention of the international art-collecting crowd, who come here on spending holidays, but also that of major institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Meanwhile, boho-chic hotels and fancy farm-to-table restaurants have opened, and a different caliber of tourist (as in the wealthy, art-buying caliber) has started turning Paia into an unlikely destination for contemporary art.
“You have all that exotica, these wonderful restaurants and top-notch galleries,” said Michael Kessler, an artist who lives in Santa Fe but recently had his first show in Paia. “I don’t know any other place like it.”
In the late 1800s, Paia was an important sugar town in Hawaii. But by the 1950s, with the sugar cane industry weakening, Paia had turned into a sleepy wisp of a village, making it a prime destination for hippies, artists and anyone looking for a quieter life.
This being Hawaii, Paia also has all the dramatic beauty you would expect from the South Pacific — dense greenery, powdery beaches and world famous waves. But it has almost none of the tourist crush that plagues bigger destinations like Lahaina and Wailea, just an hour away by car.
Paia is still surrounded by sugar cane fields and is pretty much the only village on the quieter, northern side of Maui. For decades, it was mainly a way station to the rest of the island. Tourists stopped here for gas and water, before driving into the upcountry, Maui’s lush inland region. Or it was where just-married couples picked up the windy road to Hana, the secluded honeymoon destination on Maui’s eastern tip.
But otherwise, visitors steered clear of Paia’s narrow main streets and roads, all lined with tropical plantation houses — small, wooden and painted in adorable Lucky Charms colors. Even as the rest of the island welcomed a Four Seasons, a Ritz-Carlton and other 750-room megaresorts, Paia has resisted modernity and held true to its weird little vibe. Just outside town, a rusty old mill stands as a vestige of its past.
Paia is also tiny. It’s about as small as a town can be while still being called a town. Ask for directions, and you soon find that everything in Paia is either on “Hana Highway, opposite Baldwin” or on “Baldwin Avenue at the corner of Hana Highway.” Or drop by Charley’s, the town’s greasy spoon, for dinner, and the evening’s entertainment may well be Willie Nelson.
“Paia is what Maui used to be about,” Mr. Goya said. “It’s not where you come to get massaged in a fancy hotel.”
But before Paia was an art destination, it was a surf spot. And the surfers who came to Paia were the canaries for the art scene that would follow. The surfing culture, which naturally dominates all of Hawaii, is especially pronounced in Paia: this is home to Jaws, a legendary wave that can climb 70 feet high and travel 30 miles per hour. Jaws is often credited with starting “tow-in surfing” — riding breaks so enormous that you need a Jet Ski to tow you in.
“The surfing here is maybe better than anywhere in the world, so first the surfers came, and soon enough everyone else clued into the magic of this place,” said Archie Kalepa, a professional surfer who was born and raised in Maui. Besides conquering Jaws, he is known affectionately as the unofficial mayor of Maui as everyone on the island seems to know him. “I still think of Paia as an old hippie town where you go to buy a doughnut from a mom-and-pop shop.”
The mom-and-pop shops still exist, but today they stand wedged between high-end art galleries. For the most part, the galleries — a handful of small, well-curated spaces that have opened in recent years — show no more than two dozen pieces at a time. Prices range as much as the art itself, from Gauguin-inspired portraits of Polynesia to modern, color block paintings, as in Mr. Goya’s gallery.
“Most of the people who come to buy art aren’t from around here,” said Keytoe Kiriaty, whose father owns the Avi Kiriaty gallery. The gallery, which opened a little more than a year ago, is small and dark with spotlights focused on each of her father’s paintings: haunting, swirling depictions of local scenes.
And unlike Mr. Kiriaty, who immigrated to Maui from Israel in 1979, most artists who show in Paia don’t live on the island. “That’s how you can tell the quality of the art is getting better,” Mr. Goya said. “Artists and the collectors come from all over the world.”
It makes for an eclectic community. “Paia is the land of the free, home of the strange,” said Konrad Juestel, who owns Konrad’s Ship Gallery, which sells hand-carved miniatures of Hawaiian canoes. As he spoke, a woman with dreadlocks rode by on a bicycle with a basket full of kittens, as if on cue. Moments later, a man with a long white beard strolled by in a flowing caftan with his sheepdogs. “We didn’t have a Halloween celebration here for years because, frankly, we didn’t think anyone would even notice.”
What Paia does have in common with the outside world is its ability to attract people of means. And with the rising art scene, that’s truer than ever.
“You can’t swing a dead mongoose without hitting a millionaire around here,” Mr. Juestel said. “This is the richest area of Maui, but it’s hard to tell because there are so many hippies walking around.”

link to article

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fresh & Local: Hana Fresh

Hana Fresh is a non profit organization that seeks to improve the health and wellness of the Moku of Hana particularly among Native Hawaiians and those who are underserved due to financial, cultural and geographic barriers.

Hana Fresh and Hana Health bring together farming and health care in a unique approach to community wellness. Hana Fresh supports the center's mission to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of chronic diseases through production and improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables. All produce grown is free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides and is picked fresh daily.

From Ryan Earehart:
As Produce Buyer and Manager for Mana Foods, the largest independent natural foods store in the state of Hawaii, I am always looking to develop new partnerships and nurture existing ones.
Hana Fresh, which is now one of our primary fresh local produce suppliers has done and continues to do a first class job at growing, grading, packing, and delivery of their fine fresh organic produce. We are into the second year of our partnership with Hana Fresh and it is so refreshing to see the diversity of their fresh offerings continuing to expand. We have hundreds of regular customers purchasing Hana Fresh Produce each week; in fact dozens are so passionate about Hana Fresh products that they alter their shopping days and times to coincide with Hana Fresh Deliveries. Hana Fresh has proven to be so consistent in their exceptional quality and regular delivery schedule that these customers are happy to plan their regular shopping around them.

Diversified organic agriculture is still an up and coming sector in the Hawaiian Islands and Hana Fresh is surely setting the standard for others to follow in the future. The demand for these products is growing weekly and we are excited about the possibility of having more fresh and value added items to offer our customers in the future. The Hana community is so blessed to have such a thriving operation in their area as it is a very isolated from the rest of the island. The people who live around Hana have little other options for regular reliable supply of diverse wholesome nutritious produce. I believe Hana Fresh is actually making Hana a more viable place to live and be sustainable on Maui. As a member of the Maui Community myself, I personally applaud all the efforts that Hana Fresh has undergone to get to their current level of service to our community and look forward to what the future has in store.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Athlete's Corner: Trekking the Andes

Not much time to write, I’m geared up and headed to the Andes for my trek for the Breast Cancer Fund. I just wanted to leave a short list of my “must haves” for a strenuous mountain trek.
New from Europharma~Peak Physical Performance – an amazing supplement that helps with stamina and recovery.
Herbpharm rhodiola and Mana brand gingko – gingko has been shown to minimize altitude sickness.
Beyond Coastal sunscreen – lots of it.
Topricin for relief of bumps, bruises and other aches and pains
And last but not least from Mana’s deli a fat bean burrito for the plane ride and snacks of sundrops, wasabi peas and tamari pumpkin seeds from the bulk department.
More news to come when I return.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gluten Freedom: May 2010

For many individuals on a gluten free diet, digestive issues are all too familiar. Digestive disturbances such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal cramping and nausea, are the most common symptoms of Celiac disease. Others that suffer from gluten intolerance or sensitivity are faced with the unpleasant consequences of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). When sensitive to gluten, gluten can damage the villi (small fingerlike projections) of the small intestine. These villi are crucial for nutrient absorption. When damaged or weakened, nutrient absorbing surface area is decreased and some level of malnutrition may take place. Calcium and/or iron deficiencies have been observed among Celiacs and diseases such as osteoporosis and anemia can arise.

Eliminating gluten from the diet is the first step to repairing the gut. Some individuals may benefit from gut rebuilding supplementation.
1) L-glutamine – an amino acid that supports the healing of gut tissue. Available in powder or capsules. Try incorporating the powder into your favorite breakfast smoothie. Dosage can range from 1000- 5000 mg.
2) Digestive enzymes – Supporting the body’s ability to break down food properly is an important piece of improving digestion.
3) Probiotics – These friendly bacteria support ideal gut flora. Most common strains are acidophilus and bifidus . Foods containing probiotics: yogurt, kefir, kombucha, and miso. And now even chocolate! Look for our newest probiotic supplement in the form of a chocolate bar in the vitamin room.
4) Apple cider vinegar – Consuming 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 oz of water 15-20 minutes before meals stimulates the digestive process and also provides an overall alkalizing effect on the body. Look for an organic raw unfiltered variety such as Bragg’s. Bragg’s now also makes ready to go apple cider vinegar drinks available in the cold drink cooler.

CALCIUM Food sources of calcium include: green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens and spinach, dairy products, almonds, sesame seeds, figs, tofu, garbanzo beans and sardines with bones. Blue green algae such as hydrilla and spirilina are great sources of bio-available calcium as well. Food based, liquid or powdered calcium supplements tend to offer highest absorption.

IRON Food sources of iron include: red meats, dark meat turkey and chicken, dark green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, blackstrap molasses, raisins, pumpkin seeds, dulse seaweed and hemp seeds. Iron supplementation can have side effects such as constipation and may not be appropriate for everyone. It is best to have iron levels tested before proceeding with supplementation. Menopausal woman and men should be especially cautious. Floravital is a gluten free liquid herbal iron supplement with high absorption.

Making your own hummus is easy! Try this iron and calcium rich dip with fresh cut veggie sticks, your favorite gluten free crackers or as a nutrient dense sandwich spread.
Spinach Hummus (Makes about 4 cups)
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans, or about 2 cans beans (30 ounces total)
2 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
½ cup sesame tahini½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ to ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 -3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup water for desired consistency
Drain beans and set aside. Place garlic, lemon juice and olive oil and sea salt in a food processor and blend until creamy. Add sesame tahini and blend. Add ½ the beans and ½ the spinach and blend. Add the other ½ of the beans and spinach and blend until desired consistency is achieved. If you like a very creamy hummus you may need to add a little water or a bit more lemon juice or olive oil. More water will provide a thinner consistency.
Tip: Hummus freezes very well, so you can make a large batch in advance.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fresh & local: Ululani Farms

Heavenly Grove
Now in the prodice isle: Crimson Sweet Watermelons grown with sustainable, organic methods in a fun and relaxed environment on Ululani Farm, Molokai. In the Hawaiian language, Ulu means grow, and Lani means Heaven. Translated, Ululani means Heavenly Grove or Growing Toward the Heavens. Ululani represents the essence of the farm as well as their fundamental philosophy of daily living.
The 50 acres in the Ag Park is located on the drier (and sunnier) leeward side of Molokai. Water for the drip-irrigated fields comes from catchments in a windward mountain valley, through a mountain tunnel, via a reservoir, and gravity piped to the farm.
Persistent NE trades make windbreaks a necessity. Banana trees are planted crosswind in a row every 200 feet.
No herbicides are used on the fields, instead, the mowed grass clippings under the trees improve soil consistency and nutrition, and promote the necessary soil microbes, all which makes our papayas and mangos even sweeter.
Mean chemicals that are not consistant with organic standards are not used. However, the farm is not entirely organic because of papayas high nutritional needs in Hawaii's poor volcanic soil. Soil conditions are being built up, so they can be organic.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Natural Beauty: Aloha Sun Botanicals

Made in Kula! Luxurious, all natural massage and body oils that are deeply moisturizing and therapeutic. The oil blends are based upon extensive research and have been developed to be nourishing to the skin as well as healing to the body. In every body oil the special Aloha Sun Infused Herbal Medicinal Oils is added to the basic blend of plant based oils. The oils in the Therapeutic Line contain pure essential oils that have been selected to assist you in a variety of ways. The Hawaiian Line contains fragrances that will make your mouth water and your nose cry "I want more!" Using these body oils will eliminate the need for other lotions or skin moisturizers. Enjoy the pleasure and quality of these locally made Body Oils.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fresh & Local: Notes from the produce isle

Spring is the worst time for imported produce, with supply shortages & wildy fluctuating prices. The season in Mexico is finishing up and it is still to early for California to be in full swing. Just another reason to buy locally grown produce.

This week, we shattered records with over 53% of the produce isle being sourced from Maui and the other Hawaiian islands.

The first lychee of the season have arrived from Haiku

Watermelons from Lahaina and Ululani Farms on Molokai are just starting to come into season.

Beautiful cherry tomatos, with over 7 varieties in each pack, from Hana Fresh Farms.

Tender asparagus from Anuhea Farms is back after a brief hiatus.

Beets from Coca Farms and Greens (collards, kale & chard) from Rice Farms.

The last of the local ginger from this season is on the shelf, Organic Blue Hawaiian Ginger from Puna Organics. This blue ginger has it origins in India. It is named for a freind of the farmer, Baba, the guru who sent it to them. Brother Bubba Baba Hawaiian Organic Blue Ginger is very pungent and low in fiber similar to yellow ginger. Its color will range from creamy green to pale blue to purple, often within the same hand of ginger.
We will have to wait until next fall for the mild, juicy, tender young ginger to arrive.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Natural Beauty: Island Essence

Be sure to stop by and smell the Body Lotions & Oils from Island Essence, amde right here on Maui! Scents like White Ginger & Plumeria capture the intoxicating aromas of the island. Island Essence uses the finest quality ingredients that nourish, soothe and moisturize with many organic and natural Hawaiian extracts including Awapuhi Ginger, Papaya, Noni, Sea Kelp and Aloe Vera as well as tropical oils including Macadamia Nut, Kukui Nut, and Avocado.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Celebrating Mother's Day

Top 5 Gift ideas that honor both your own Mother and Mother Nature

1. Tropical Flowers: either a lei or a springy bouquet

2. Chocolate: with over 300 bars to chose from, there is something for everyone. From milk to dark, vegan to bacon infused, or rice crisps to exotic chilies. Try one of my favorites "Salty Dog," with 70% dark chocolate with butter toffee pieces and sea salt, by B.T. McElrath.
3. Picnic Lunch: stop by the deli and pack a feast for the beach
4. Clothes: In addition to Sierra Dew Designs, a socially conscious label using organic cotton, sweatshop free, recycled & vintage fabrics, all printed with 100% non-toxic water-based inks; you can find shirts made of the softest bamboo shirts, hemp caps and more.
5. Inner reflection: Journals, meditation cards, and palm or beeswax candles.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mana Foods in the News

Ronie Hong of Mana Foods in Paia organizes the tempting options on the Wall of Chocolate near the store’s front entrance.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY, first published 4/22 for Earth Day

"On Earth Day, we'll have chocolate demos with the Endangered Species brand," says Theresa Thielk, Mana's office manager. "They give 10 percent of the gross sales to conservation."
Mana Foods houses what is called the "Wall of Chocolate" near the front door, featuring pure cacao of the gourmet and organic kind from domestic and international sources.
Mana Foods will also feature discounts on Seventh Generation eco products today as well as selected local health and beauty vendor items.
Saturday, Mana Foods will also be jumping with demos and tastings all day by local farmers, growers and vendors during its normal hours from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call 579-8078.